With winter in the northern hemisphere officially gone, ice is beginning to melt away on long-frozen lakes. A clear example of this is the loss of near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes, which has gone away quietly.
But for Minnesota’s Medicine Lake, the story is a louder one. As its ice has become more unstable, it has begun what some call “chandeliering.” A visitor captured footage of the phenomenon, which can be viewed here.
The process has been described as a small-scale ice shove, which relies on high winds to push shallow layers of lake ice onto land. In a similar fashion, it sounds like shattering glass.
But chandeliering ice can be caused by other factors:
Changing temperatures could have altered the ice’s form from a dense sheet to a thin one that pushed upward;
or the water could have crystallized – this occurs when water remains liquid below its freezing point and is disturbed, possibly by weather, causing a spontaneous crystallization.
From there, due to wind and wave action, the frozen or crystallized water piles up on a lake’s surface in a glimmering mass.
Video: Strange ice phenomena unfolds at Minn. lake. (Credit: Nadalie Thomas via KARE11)